Stories in the Ether – Open Call For Submissions

Stories in the Ether, Issue 1

Stories in the Ether, Issue 1 is available on Kindle, ePUB, and as a PDF.

Stories in the Ether is a compelling collection of fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk short stories published digitally by Nevermet Press every Friday on our blog, and semi-quarterly as an eBook on Kindle, iPad, and Nook. Stories in the Ether, Volume 1 will come to print in 2012 and feature an entire year’s worth of fiction along with all the artwork in brilliant full color.

Now Accepting Submissions

We are currently accepting submissions of short stories of under 10,000 words for inclusion into the Stories in the Ether.

Submissions of new short stories should be sent to submissions@nevermetpress.com

Please review our Submission Guidelines before sending in your story!

No Submission Deadline.

We are accepting stories on an ongoing basis. With that in mind, getting your submissions in early is a good idea to help get the editorial process rolling. Assuming your submission is accepted and makes it through our editorial funnel, your story will be published on the Nevermet Press blog first and later included in an issue of Stories in the Ether eBook and in the annual print anthology.

Stories in the Ether, Issue 2

Stories in the Ether, Issue 2

50 thoughts on “Stories in the Ether – Open Call For Submissions

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  4. Just a thought: if we’re thinking about writing a short story, is it alright if it’s left open-ended – that is to say, an ending where the story could be continued as a series? Or do you want short stories with a definite conclusion?

  5. Perfectly fine! Just make sure the story does indeed stand alone – there’s a conclusion/ending that resolves itself, but perhaps leaves the reader wondering, or even better wanting, more.

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  7. Well – to be honest Shannon – we’ve never hosted any sequential art before (i.e. comics), but we’re pretty open and flexible. Obviously the story and the art would have to be approved by our editorial team, but I would be very happy to see that type of submission.

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  11. There’s a number of things that are different between what you write here and what’s written in your general guidelines. I think it would be very helpful to do a separate guideline page for the fiction, that is clear on topics like reprints and your right to create subsidiary works–something that makes sense if you’re publishing a game module or monster, but not so much for fiction, where the characters and the world they live in normally remain the intellectual property of the writer.

    Overall, I really like the idea for this anthology! I hope it goes well, and you can continue into the future. I look forward to your response.

    Deirdre

  12. Deirdre – I’m not sure what you mean? Our general submissions page covers everything we do, but Stories in the Either is a specific project (short story fiction) that simply uses the same licensing/contract/royalty share program outlined on our submissions page. Can you provide a specific example of what you mean?

    And yes – we do retain the right to make derivative works from anything we publish. This blog is covered under a Creative Commons license for one (see below) and published products of ours in eBook or print are covered under a similar license. The characters and worlds of the writers do remain the “intellectual property” of the authors – they can relicense the work to whomever they want, but they also permit NMP to also develop additional content that is derivative of the author’s work – that’s how Creative Commons is intended to work. Or am I missing something?

  13. Thanks for your reply!

    One example of a difference that I noted is whether you’re interested in reprints–this page says you are. The contract language and other portions of the submission guidelines page says you are not.. Another difference between the two pages is whether one needs to pitch the story first or send the whole thing.

    As to derivative rights–

    You’re publishing a fiction anthology under a version of the creative commons? That’s different. I didn’t see that specified on your guidelines, and the contract language that is there doesn’t look like creative commons language to me.

    It is standard practice, in the fiction publishing industry, to be sent a contract to review and sign before a sale is finalized. Do you do that? Or is the language on your guidelines page the entire contract?

    I’m used to publishers of short stories getting specific publication rights, which are carefully defined, and all other rights remain with the author. In contrast, though you state the author may resell that material (i.e. the story itself) to another market, your contract language on your guidelines page appears to state that you retain the derivative rights.

    If I understand this correctly, if I let you publish one of my stories, then I would not retain exclusive control of my characters and my world–you would have a legal right, for instance, to write a sequel or a game scenario based on my story without getting my permission or paying me anything for the use of my characters and world.

    I love the idea of a web-to-print anthology. The idea for this anthology had me feeling very enthusiastic, until I got confused about exactly what your guidelines said.

    And, now, well, I am not comfortable with the contract language I’ve seen from you so far.

    Which is too bad, because, as I said, I really like the idea for this anthology.

  14. @Deirdre – Addressing some of your points:

    Reprints: the language on the general Submissions page under “Simultaneous Submissions” has been changed. It was an oversight. We will accept reprints, so long as the author still retains rights to the work. Thank you pointing that out.

    Creative Commons: The _individual_ works will be published under a creative commons attribution noncommerical noderivatives 3.0 unported license on our blog. This prevents other people – as in the general public – from making derivative works, however the contract between NMP and the author works differently. The published anthology as a whole (the collective body of the work) will be covered under a standard copyright license. The contract between the author and NMP is non-exclusive but has language in it that allows NMP to develop derivative works. The intention here is so that we can develop games and other related products around these stories should they prove compelling enough. The author, however, retains the relicense the work to whomever they wish as the copyright is retained with them.

    Reviewing the contract: I know that the standard practice in the fiction publishing industry is to review contracts. By submitting works – there is no contract and NMP is obligated or permitted to publish anything (also standard practice). NOTHING is published until the author receives, reviews, and agrees to the contract we have. If any author would like to receive a copy of the contract _prior_ to submitting any works that is also perfectly fine – simply email me and I’ll send it to you (editor@nevermetpress.com)

    And yes – you are correct about your last point. Nevermet Press retains the rights to develop derivative materials of your work – with attribution. This is covered both in the signed contract and under the “Independent Development” section of the submissions page. This is standard fair in the gaming industry for magazine, blog, anthology type work. Of course – if you had a larger body of work – such as a whole novel, a finished campaign world, etc – a different contract would likely be drawn up; but for short stories, small gaming products, and web articles this is not unusual in the least.

    I hope I have clarified things for you and I hope to see your work soon!

    And again – thank you for pointing out the confusing language. PRIOR to announcing this anthology project we did not accept “reprints” – but that is no longer the case and the Submissions page has been updated to reflect that.

    Cheers — Jonathan.

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  16. Yeah, I’m really not comfortable with the whole you retaining derivative rights thing… Is that really necessary? I mean, I was really excited about this whole thing, and now you’ve got people worried about someone else profiting from their work. Now I’m thinking about pulling my story from consideration because this is just uncomfortable… What’s so wrong with just publishing the story and being done with it? I understand this is “standard fair” in the industry… But a lot of people get legally ripped off and screwed by the industry, so that’s not really comforting.

  17. @JackThomas – well, I can say that I am by not means intending to have anyone “ripped off and screwed by the industry”. There’s nothing wrong with publishing the story and being done with it either, but that’s not our standard contract and not the point of Nevermet Press. We were founded under a collaborative spirit with goal creating cool games and compelling stories. That continues to be the goal of how we operate. Your comment paints a picture of an idea sucking megacorporation intent on farming the creative fields of authors for its own financial gain. That is – for what it is worth – a total misconception on who we are or how we operate. Not to mention that we sold under 100 books last month, so we are certainly not operating on the scale you might imagine.

    Is it necessary [to retain the right to develop derivative works]? From a legal standpoint and a creative standpoint, Yes, I would argue it is. Why? Because of the following –

    First, I’m a big supporter of Creative Commons – and by association you can correctly guess that I’m a big fan of getting the word out, promoting, and supporting authors and artists however we can. Creative Commons is one means by which fans and other commercial entities can continue developing creative projects long after the original author has stopped developing it.

    Having the flexibility to develop derivative works, with attribution of course, let’s people know that Jane Doe is the original author of the original work. Fans will back track and find the work and the author and, by association, find Jane’s other works. It _also_ allows fans and other authors to develop new material based on Jane’s work. Jane still gets credit/recognition for her seminal contribution and new creatives have the ability to further develop something they love as well for as long as the work has life.

    I should note that, in practice, this has only happened twice thus far. Our first adventure setting eBook The Desire, was an experiment in collaborative development. Our second book, Brother Ptolemy & The Hidden Kingdom adventure setting, was an improvement on our earlier model and was originally conceived by Paul King. He wrote the story and the background. 13 additional authors, artists, and game developers then developed additional material for Brother Ptolemy that was based on, or inspired by, Paul’s original work. Was Paul excluded from developing additional work for Brother Ptolemy? No, in fact he was encouraged and had a big role in tying up the final work. The book is now sold and everyone gets credit and royalties.

    We are repeating the same approach with The Dead Queens of Morvena – only in this case the original story was my own, Charles Dickey then extended it and developed it further, and Tony Hoffart along with five other authors are developing it even more and applying finishing touches.

    While I understand your position of not wanting to be “ripped off” – I assure you that you won’t be, that would just be bad for everyone involved. Nevermet Press is more about giving people the ability to develop and publish their stories, to work with collaborators they might not otherwise be able to connect with, and to promote each of the contributors to projects. Anthologies and collaborative game development are two examples of that process in action. Although this approach may not be your cup of tea, I hope that you can see it from our viewpoint and will instead venture to submit some of your work to Stories in the Ether in the future.

    Best Regards — Jonathan.

  18. @Jonathan Jacobs

    Forgive me if it sounded as though I was suggesting you were some mega corporation intent on ripping us off… That’s certainly not was I meant to say. I just wanted to communicate that as an author, one might not want even the small possibility that someone might use their characters or their world for their own gain. But it’s certainly as you said–it’s simply the way you choose to operate, and if I don’t like it I certainly don’t have to submit anything. But thank you for considering my short story anyway. I do hope it wasn’t my comment that made you reject it… but if it was, it’s very understandable anyway, I guess.

    Good luck with your site. :)

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  24. You say under 25,000 words. How under? Would 500 words be too few? I have some flash-fiction rolling around in my head, but they’re very short.

  25. I’m very interested in submitting a short story for your magazine, I like the science-fiction and fantasy scope, as well as the Creative Commons licensing. But the main question would be the kind of story you’d be interested in.

    I’m not sure that you’d be interested in my two ‘anthro’ brands, Blood and Metal and Scarlet PI, but I’m working up a third Brand which is closer to Traditional Fantasy, and will be based in a 4ED D&D Homebrew world. Maybe that would be of some interest with you.

    • David, we’d be happy to review any fantasy, scifi or steampunk genre short story or flash fiction piece. We don’t accept or review pitches or proposals – only finished works – so when your story is finish, please send it along!

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  29. I have a short story I would like to submit, but I don’t know if its what you look for. You see its an “Unconventional” fairytale where instead of just having the “happily ever after” it has a bittersweet twist to it you wouldn’t find in your typical fairytale you would read to children. Also if you do accept things like that. Do I have to write a Pitch or Query?

    • Ashley – we prefer to receive whole stories, not pitches. Your story idea sounds fine – but please feel free to check out the exiting Stories in the Ether and you’ll no doubt get a sense of the range of accepted works. Cheers, — Jonathan.

      • Thank you. I assure you it is finished. I just saw somewhere here that if a submission is more than 2.500 words it needed a pitch. Thank you for the Clarity.

  30. I was just wondering if you got my story. I am not trying to sound annoying Its just my computer can be very cruddy, since its pretty old, and not send things when I want them sent. So i am just making sure. Hope I am not bothering you.

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